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  hmmm.... sounds a little like kevins case!!!

Original Article

Sunday, December 11, 2005 -

With all the controversy over the impending execution of "Tookie" Williams, the founder of the L.A. street gang the Crips who is on death row for multiple murders, it's noteworthy that the story of another black man facing execution is not making the headlines. In this case, the state is Mississippi, and the man with the deathwatch is Cory Maye.

With the exception of Radley Balko, blogging at the Agitator, and Steve Gordon following the story at Hammer of Truth, there is almost nobody in the media ranks who seems to care. Maye's story is far less convoluted than Williams' sordid tale. According to both Balko and Gordon, the man was minding his own business, asleep in his bed with his girlfriend and baby daughter, when several armed men stormed his door and entered his Prentiss, Miss. home, one night in December, 2001. In fear of his life and those of his family, Maye raised a gun and shot one of the intruders, seriously wounding him. After a bit more struggle, during which the other intruders identified themselves as police officers, Maye surrendered and was taken into custody, while his home was searched for illegal drugs.

As it turned out, the troops were looking for Jamie Smith, the man who lived on the other side of the duplex, suspected of drug dealing, and had stormed the wrong door. Nobody among the officers on the scene had even been made aware that the property was occupied by more than Smith himself, and they assumed the other door was only a side entrance to the house. Unfortunately, the officer Maye shot ended up dead; more unfortunately for Cory, who is black, the officer was not only a white man in Mississippi, but the son of the local police chief.

According to the stories by both sources, the trial featured an incompetent defense attorney, an all-white jury and a prosecutor who played fast and loose with the rules of courtroom conduct. Mayes was convicted of first-degree murder of a police officer, and sentenced to be executed. Appeals since then have only served to delay the process. At no time has the fact that this man was essentially only protecting his home from invaders been taken seriously, even though Mississippi law does allow such self-defense as a justification for killing someone.

Attempts to appeal the jury's decision have been unsuccessful, perhaps also hampered by the shortcomings of his legal counsel. The latest word on the situation is that Cory Maye is due to be executed by lethal injection, unless Governor Haley Barbour can be convinced to intervene on his behalf with a pardon, or failing that a reduction in his sentence. Steve Gordon ends his coverage with an e-mail link for the Governor, at: ,

in hopes that at least some readers will do what they can to convince Barbour to rectify this tragic miscarriage of justice.

staff reports - Free-Market News Network

Mississippi Burning an Innocent Man Fox News columnist and blogger extraordinaire Radley Balko has been reporting about Cory Maye, who sits on death row in Mississippi for being a cop killer. Here is the basic story line:

Sometime in late 2001, Officer Ron Jones collected a tip from an anonymous informant that Jamie Smith, who lived opposite Maye in a duplex, was selling drugs out of his home. Jones passed the tip to the Pearl River Basin Narcotics Task Force, a regional police agency in charge of carrying out drug raids in four surrounding counties. The task force asked Jones if hed like to come along on the raid theyd be conducting as the result of his tip. He obliged.

On the night of December 26, the task force donned paramilitary gear, and conducted a drug raid on Smiths house. Unfortunately, they hadnt done their homework. The team didnt realize that the house was a duplex, and that Maye who had no relationship with Smith, rented out the other side with his girlfirend and 1-year-old daughter.

As the raid on Smith commenced, some officers - including Jones went around to what they thought was a side door to Smiths residence, looking for a larger stash of drugs. The door was actually a door to Mayes home. Maye was home alone with his young daughter, and asleep, when one member of the SWAT team broke down the outside door

..Maye, fearing for his life and the safety of his daughter, fired at Jones, hitting him in the abdomen, just below his bulletproof vest. Jones died a short time later.

Maye had no criminal record, and wasnt the target of the search warrant. Police initially concluded they had found no drugs in Mayes side of the duplex.

The end result, especially since the cop who died is the son of the police chief, is tragically predictible. To add fuel to the fire, Maye is black and Jones was white.

In January of last year, Maye was convicted of capital murder for the shooting of Officer Jones. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

The story gets even wierder, though. More after the jump.

According to Balko, who seems to be researching this story well, Maye had no criminal record. The police initially said there were no drugs, then said theyd found traces of marijuana and cocaine. Mayes attorney said the cops found one roach. That isnt relevant, though.

Someone busted in his home late at night and he shot them in self defense. It is that simple. Except in places like Mississippi.

Balko provides that the jury may have been a bit tainted for either racial or religious reason and his posting is a must read. He followed it up with some additional compelling background, too.

Here is his account of his conversation with the circuit court clerk for Jefferson Davis County, Mississippi:

Her: You want me to read the whole thing? Its very long.

Me: No, thats okay. I just have a hunch about whats in it that I was hoping you could check out for me.

Her: What would you like me to look for?

Me: Are you familiar with the Cory Maye case?

Her: Oh, yes. I know what happened.

Me: My guess is that youll find the name of Jaimie Wilson on that warrant, but you wont find the name of Cory Maye. Could you check to satisfy my curiosity before you send me a copy?

Her: Okay. Lets see. Jaimie.

Me: Wilson

Her: Yes, now I see his name is on the warrant. Jaimie Wilson.

Me: Now look for Cory Maye.

Her: Silence.

Me: Corey Maye?

Her: Silence.

Me: Is he in there anywhere?

Her: Oh my.

According to Balko, the following applies to Mississippis capitol murder law:

(2) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases:

(a) Murder which is perpetrated by killing a peace officer or fireman while such officer or fireman is acting in his official capacity or by reason of an act performed in his official capacity, and with knowledge that the victim was a peace officer or fireman

and here is the code for justifiable homicide:

(1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or omission of another shall be justifiable in the following cases:


f) When committed in the lawful defense of ones own person or any other human being, where there shall be reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury, and there shall be imminent danger of such design being accomplished

As I write this, I hear the the chorus of a song going through my mind:

Thats the night the lights went out in georgia Thats the night that they hung an innocent man Dont trust your soul to no back woods southern lawyer Cause the judge in the towns got bloodstains on his hand

The lights arent out yet, though. In coversation at my local watering hole last night, several people (Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian) all stated that they think Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is truly a decent man, even if they disagreed with his politics a bit. Id suggest that we all contact him and see if this is indeed the case.

Cory Maye Update Last night, I provided a lot of details which have been presented by Radley Balko about Cory Maye, who is on death row in Mississippi for what strongly appears to be a case of justifiable homocide. At this moment, it seems that Maye exercised his Second Amendment right along with his natural right of self-defense in a botched drug raid, unfortunately killing a police officer.

I suggested that people should contact Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi about this case. A couple of hours later a blog entry appeared where someone did just that. However, some of the facts in the letter may not be totally accurate. Today, Radley begs our caution in the presentation:

But its important that we get all of the facts straight on the case. Ive already seen a few misconceptions start to appear. I think this is in part due to conflicting accounts of the case as given by various media outlets in Prentiss and Hatiesburg, by Mayes first lawyer, by the cops at the scene, and by the prosecution. Its also probably in part due to me putting the first two posts up rather quickly, and perhaps not being quite as clear as I should have been. Its important that all the facts are correct, because even if a 75% true version of the story starts getting cited in letters to Gov. Barbour, he can cite the 25% thats wrong, and dismiss them outright as being ignorant of the facts of the case.

Radley is correct. It is important that verifiable and accurate information be presented. I dont think we messed up at HoT, but I urge anyone to please be careful with the facts when writing a letter to Barbour, or any other elected government official. Id still suggest writing a letter, as gubernatorial action may be the swiftest manner for justice to be served in the case. My knowledge of Mississippi code is very limited, but Article 5, Section 12 of the Mississippi Constitution does provide:

In all criminal and penal cases, excepting those of treason and impeachment, the governor shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons, to remit fines, and in cases of forfeiture, to stay the collection until the end of the next session of the legislature, and by and with the consent of the senate to remit forfeitures. In cases of treason he shall have power to grant reprieves, and by and with consent of the senate, but may respite the sentence until the end of the next session of the legislature; but no pardon shall be granted before conviction; and in cases of felony, after conviction no pardon shall be granted until the applicant therefor shall have published for thirty days, in some newspaper in the county where the crime was committed, and in case there be no newspaper published in said county, then in an adjoining county, his petition for pardon, setting forth therein the reasons why such pardon should be granted.

Being very careful to present factual information, Im writing my letter today. Im asking you do the same.

Just a random thought: This may be one time where the NRA and the ACLU could work together in order to ensure a just outcome in the case.